www.ibms.org Tel: 020 7713 0214 Email: firstname.lastname@example.org INSTITUTE OF BIOMEDICAL SCIENCE Specialist Practice: Portfolios and Diplomas The following information is produced to guide specialist practitioner training, completion of the portfolio and preparation for the assessment for the award of a Specialist Diploma. It should be read in conjunction with the information provided in the portfolio. Quick introduction The IBMS has developed the Specialist Portfolio to enable the recognition of structured, standardised post-registration (newly qualified) training and assessment of practitioners. The portfolio enables biomedical scientists to provide evidence of training, practical skills, specialist knowledge and competency gained in the two years after registration into the profession. Completion of the portfolio and successful assessment will lead to the awarding of a Specialist Diploma in the disciplines listed below. During completion of the portfolio individuals will be gathering evidence of continued professional development (CPD) and competence to practice. Agenda for Change will only allow career advancement through its pay bands upon demonstration of the required knowledge and skills. The portfolio can be used as evidence to help biomedical scientists seeking promotion to a higher pay band. The portfolio can also be used by Higher Education Institutions in assessing work-based learning and accredited learning for postgraduate qualifications; or by employers when considering eligibility for promotion or identifying education and training needs. Where possible, National Occupational Standards (NOS) for healthcare scientists have been incorporated into the standards that constitute the generic and discipline specific components of the portfolio. The portfolio also maps to the knowledge and skills framework (KSF), which will be a tool for identifying education and training needs. About specialist diplomas Newly registered practitioners who are, as a minimum requirement, Licentiate members of the Institute have the opportunity to evidence their development of specialist knowledge and competencies in their chosen field by completion of the Institute’s Specialist Portfolio. On completion of the portfolio and successful end-point assessment they will be awarded a Specialist Diploma in one of the following disciplines: • Cellular Pathology • Cytopathology • Clinical Biochemistry • Clinical Immunology • Haematology & Transfusion Science • Histocompatibility & Immunogenetics (developed in conjunction with BSHI) • Medical Microbiology • Transfusion Science • Virology The Specialist Diploma confers eligibility to upgrade Institute membership from the class of Licentiate to Member provided the individual has a minimum of 2 years professional experience as a Licentiate member. The portfolio is similar in design to the registration portfolio and reflects the range of analyses performed by most routine laboratories in the UK, although some might not be performed in the candidate’s own laboratory. There may also be other tests the training laboratory includes in its repertoire not specifically stated in the portfolio but in which the individual must demonstrate competence. These can be recorded in the reflective log at the end of each sub- section. Achievement of the required knowledge and competence of the range of analyses expresses the ability of the biomedical scientist to operate at the specialist level, i.e. the capacity to: i) Work in accordance with good professional practice in partnership with other professionals, support staff, patients and service users. ii) Demonstrate an understanding and application of health and safety requirements. iii) Undertake the correct procedures for the handling of specimens, pre and post analysis. iv) Use the main laboratory computer system in accordance with service requirements. v) Maintain and operate equipment used in the preparation and analysis of samples. vi) Perform a range of laboratory tests without immediate supervision and demonstrate an understanding of the scientific basis for tests and the disease processes under investigation. vii) Demonstrate awareness of factors affecting sample integrity, risks associated with the sample reagents, or method and other tests indicated by the outcome of the analysis. viii) Understand and apply principles of quality control and quality assurance. Use of Portfolio and Evidence The portfolio will contain a completed and signed record of laboratory training in the designated speciality as evidence of the application of knowledge, comprehension and analytical skills. Competence must be achieved by coverage of ALL modules within the chosen disciplines. Some tests may be considered as ‘core’ and require demonstration of practical competence. Other tests may only require demonstration of knowledge and understanding that would be applied to the practical situation, if an investigation were considered to be outside the core repertoire of a routine laboratory. Short periods of secondment to other Institute approved laboratories may supplement training in order for the individual to gain additional practical skills and experience. Evidence of achievement is based on observation and questions set by the trainer or individual pieces of work related to the knowledge and competence statements of each module. The Evidence of Achievement section indicates the evidence that is required. It is NOT necessary to provide witness statements to support the signed sections stating “Observed by trainer to perform…” but the “Questions asked by the trainer…“ and other tasks MUST be evidenced. This evidence of training and internal assessment of competency should be contained in a single lever-arch file. This may include: annotated copies of quality control logs, maintenance schedules, audit trail results, short essays, notes, case studies, as indicated by the Evidence of Achievement section. Additional evidence that demonstrates competence may be made available to support the main body of evidence and Specialist Portfolio; with appropriate cross-referencing. However, this should be contained separately. Reference material such as copies of SOPS, information from the internet, guidance leaflets are not regarded as evidence unless appropriately annotated to demonstrate what the individual has learned and how they might apply this knowledge. The portfolio will also demonstrate that the individual has reflected on their own performance as an independent professional learner, thus meeting the requirements for CPD. Laboratory-based training To permit eligibility for the award of a Specialist Diploma, in-service training must demonstrate competence and experience in the stated procedures as ‘fitness to practice’ as a specialist in the individual’s chosen discipline. The Institute has guidelines and criteria for the approval of laboratories for pre - and post-registration training and requires training to be in a laboratory that has met these criteria or can demonstrate it has the potential to meet them (i.e. approval is confirmed once the portfolio has been completed). Several trainers may be involved and it is essential that all training is co-ordinated and carried out under the control of a designated training co-ordinator or training officer. A training schedule must be prepared and adhered to in accordance with the Institute’s Standards for Training in the Laboratory and also to meet CPA standard B9.1. The training co-ordinator/officer should ensure that regular reports on progress from trainers are reviewed at least once a month, discussed with the individual being trained, and documented. The object of these review pages is to ensure that a constructive, detailed, and contemporaneous record is kept, on which future training activities can be based. Assessment procedure for award of Specialist Diploma The aims of the assessment procedure are to: • independently verify that competence has been assessed internally and assess the candidate to ensure they meet the standard required for the award of a Specialist Diploma • ensure consistency between disciplines and between laboratories • check that professional body guidelines and criteria are applied nationally • reassure the employer that their training is to the appropriate standard • disseminate areas of good practice • highlight areas of unsatisfactory practice. On completion of training, in accordance with the requirements of the Specialist Portfolio, the candidate's employer (laboratory manager or training officer) should apply to the Institute for the appointment of a visiting external assessor. The appointed external assessor will be instructed to contact the laboratory in accordance with the Institute’s procedure to arrange a mutually convenient assessment date. The assessment takes place between the external assessor and candidate during which the assessor establishes confidence in the understanding, ability and practice of the candidate. A key component of this will be a 15-20 minute presentation during which the candidate presents a review of their post-registration training experience and current issues important within their discipline. The external assessor will establish completion of the portfolio as a record of training in the candidate’s 'specialist' discipline. If some areas of practice are not undertaken in the candidates employing laboratory, demonstration of appropriate knowledge and understanding rather than practical competence is acceptable. An important element of the assessment process is to review the reflective reports associated with each module and interview of the candidate on aspects of their work raised in the commentary and presentation. This discussion may be supported by examples contained within an accompanying portfolio of evidence. The candidate will also conduct the external assessor on a laboratory tour during which further aspects of the candidates training and work are explored. Application form and portfolio reference copies Reference versions of the portfolios are available in pdf format below. Bound reference copies for managers and training officers can be obtained from the Institute, priced £25. Hardback copies for specialist practitioners in training are available, priced £95. This includes the cost of the portfolio and the end-point assessment for the award of a specialist diploma. Please note that applicants must be a corporate member of the Institute. The portfolio is not available to Associate members of the Institute or individuals undertaking pre-registration training. The Institute recognise that the Specialist Portfolios may change in line with future developments within the profession. The version completed by each student, if current at the time of study, will be recognised. Specialist portfolios: reference copies • Cellular Pathology • Cytopathology • Clinical Biochemistry • Clinical Immunology • Haematology & Transfusion Science • Histocompatibility & Immunogenetics • Medical Microbiology • Transfusion Science • Virology Guidance for Candidate, Training Officer and External Assessor The following guidance is produced to guide final completion of the portfolio and preparation for the assessment for the award of a Specialist Diploma. As with the information above it should be read in conjunction with the information provided in the portfolio. Role of the External Visitor appointed by the Institute The external assessor for Specialist Portfolios (in the past referred to as external verifier) is undertaking the dual role of assessor/examiner and verifier. These individuals must be prepared to review portfolios to verify appropriate training has been undertaken and completed, and to assess the candidate through their oral presentation and orally examine them during the laboratory tour to determine their suitability for the award of the Specialist Diploma. Laboratory trainers are guided that in the context of Specialist Portfolios assessing competence to perform duties commensurate to the level of a Specialist Practitioner in the laboratory is the responsibility of the employer. The Institute’s role is to verify this has happened (by checking the portfolio for evidence of training and assessment of competence) and also assess the ability of the candidate to demonstrate an understanding of the scientific basis for tests, quality control, quality assurance, quality management, health and safety and use of equipment commensurate with the learning outcomes in the portfolio. The Institute’s representative will also make an assessment on whether or not the laboratory meets the requirements for the award of training approval by the Institute. (This does not require a full inspection). This process enables the Institute to award a Specialist Diploma to individuals that meet the criteria and also award a Certificate to show “Approved Training Laboratory” status. Presentation (15-20 mins) Presentations are to ensure the practitioner can describe their scope of practice and show an understanding of their role in the laboratory. The presentation must be in PowerPoint format. If projection facilities are not available it can be viewed on a computer screen. It is expected that the 15-20 minute presentation will contain the following elements: • Scope of practice and how it has developed since registration based on the reflective practice elements of the portfolio • Current develops in the laboratory or recent trends • Special interests or professional activities of the individual Presentations need not be overcomplicated, should be structured to reflect the areas in which experience has been gained and act as a prompt for the dialogue which supports the work done in the specialist diploma. The candidate’s presentation skills are not being tested so notes are acceptable. However, they should be to support the presentation and the candidate would normally read them directly. The external assessor may which to ask some questions related to the presentation or seek points of clarification. Criteria for Assessment of Presentation Standard Standard Not Met Met Presentation was 15-20 mins Presentation described individuals scope of practice Presentation highlighted current trends in the laboratory Presentation highlighted specialist interests or activities General comments: Portfolios (60 mins) Assessors should aim to review the portfolio in one hour which is sufficient to review the evidence contained in a single lever arch file. More evidence than this is deemed as excessive although assessors should not use this as a reason to fail to the candidate. It is acceptable for the external assessor to check with the laboratory before the visit that evidence is limited to one file, and if not, request that it is. There should be a signed statement from the laboratory manager testifying to the range of laboratory investigations undertaken by the candidate. (see Section 2: Use of the Portfolio, paragraph 2.7). This can be used by the external assessor to guide the areas for questioning during the laboratory tour. It is acceptable for external assessors to request this prior to the visit when they finalise arrangements with the laboratory. Evidence in the portfolio should follow the same principles as evidence for registration portfolios. However, the EVIDENCE OF ACHIEVEMENT section is more prescriptive. The signed observation of practice does not require a separate witness statement in addition (unlike the Registration Portfolio) but there should be evidence of responses to questions, comparative lists (advantages/disadvantages of a technique) and case studies as indicated in this section. Evidence should be indexed in the same order as the Specialist Portfolio and reflect the requirements of the EVIDENCE OF ACHIEVEMENT section. Additional (optional) supporting evidence of training may be provided and referred to if required. “Questions asked by the trainer” are informed by the knowledge component of each module. Evidence should support the fact that candidates understand their role and reflect the knowledge component of the sections, either through self-directed tasks that reflect questions they have been asked, set (and marked) questions or notes from tutorials. Evidence should be dated and signed by the candidate/training officer as appropriate. Following the EVIDENCE OF ACHIEVEMENT section the Institute’s portfolios should be signed by the internal person who has checked that evidence against the required competences has been acquired. The reflective practice sheets are intended to demonstrate that the candidate has developed in the application of their practice. Criteria for Assessment of Portfolio Standard Standard Not Met Met Signed statement from laboratory manager regarding candidates’ scope of practice Evidence of achievement sections had been completed and signed Evidence reflected the requirements of the Evidence of Achievement Section, e.g. answered questions set by trainer Reflective practice sheets completed General Comments: Laboratory Tour (Maximum 60 mins) The tour should not exceed 60 mins which should be sufficient time to assess the candidate’s knowledge, even in a large department. The candidate should be able to respond to questions asked by the external assessor based on the knowledge components of the portfolio and their scope of practice. The candidate should be able to demonstrate they have knowledge of the underlying principles and practice of laboratory investigations they have performed. If the candidate is involved in training it is reasonable to expect them to explain how they do this. They should be able to explain NEQAS results, and demonstrate that they know how to apply health and safety. In doing so they demonstrate (in conjunction with their presentation and portfolio of evidence) that they meet the learning outcomes detailed in the introductory section of the portfolio. Criteria for Assessment of Laboratory Tour Standard Standard Not Met Met Candidate was able to demonstrate knowledge of the correct procedures for handling specimens, pre and post analysis Candidate demonstrated an understanding of the application of health & safety requirements Candidate was able to answer questions on the principles and practice of laboratory investigations Candidate was able to demonstrate they knew how to operate and maintain equipment Candidate was able to demonstrate they understood and could apply principles of quality control and quality assurance General Comments: Approval of laboratory for Specialist Training The Institute has published guidance and criteria for approval of laboratories for pre and post registration training. These are currently being updated. Based on the current criteria the laboratory tour also gives the external assessor an opportunity to judge that the laboratory has the appropriate facilities for training against the following checklist. Facility to Observations Comments Support Training Unsatisfactory Adequate Self-directed study Equipment Staffing structure supports training culture and philosophy CPD opportunities e.g. meetings Training policy Training officers Individual Training manuals H&S issues Do you want to be an External Assessor for Specialist Portfolios? Becoming a specialist portfolio assessor provides an excellent opportunity for CPD and for engaging with other biomedical scientists that share a common interest in training and maintaining professional standards. If you meet the following criteria please complete the application form and register on our database of external assessors. Training will be given. • Chartered Scientist member of the Institute of Biomedical Science • HPC registered (or equivalent registration authority for non-UK members) • Currently practicing in an Institute approved training laboratory with a minimum of 4 years experience post registration experience as a registered practitioner. • Actively participating in the Institute’s CPD scheme. • Have attended an Institute approved training course for Specialist Assessors. Please contact email@example.com for further information.
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